The Education You Need Where You Live
Cook County Higher Education (CCHE) at The North Shore Campus:

    Accredited classes, training, and degree programs that meet your needs
    We provide student support: mentors, financial aid resources, and more
    532 residents have earned certificates or degrees
    CCHE students have a 90% success rate (national average is 75%)
    Our non-profit is supported by state and county funding, grants, and local donations

The students tell it best, saying, "Thanks to CCHE, I earned my degree and got a job without having to leave my family to go to school!" Use the Donate Now button to make a contribution today to support your local students. Thank you!


The Cook CountyLocal EnergyProject (CCLEP)is a nonprofit organization working for energy efficiency and clean, local, renewable energy development in Cook County, Minnesota.

CCLEP Action Plan

    Engender community conversation about energy issues through public meetings, radio shows, newspaper articles, on-line postings, and a dedicated website.
    Build and strengthen a network of interested parties to improve communication about, and increase coordination of, local energy projects.
    Investigate feasibility of various energy efficiency and renewable energy production options specific to Cook County.
    Gather, organize, and make available, information about energy issues.
    Develop and maintain a website to make energy information easy to access and useful to our community.
    Engage with local units of government to enact policies that enhance local energy efficiency and renewable energy development.
    Encourage the establishment of a local energy industry by assisting local businesses and non-profits with their energy projects.
    Develop, maintain and implement a county wide Energy Plan.

We pursue this goal in order to achieve the following community benefits:

    Retain energy dollars in our local economy.
    Create jobs.
    Improve quality of life through more comfortable, less-costly, energy efficient housing.
    Buffer our community from unstable energy supply and pricing.
    Reduce harmful climatic and environmental effects of fossil fuel use.
    Reduce dependence on foreign oil.
    Increase local self-reliance.
    Transfer wealth and power into the hands of local citizens and their local utilities.


Please join Cook County Higher Education (CCHE) in honoring Nancy and Mike Carlson’s contributions to the community. Help us grow this scholarship fund as a wonderful testimony to Nancy and Mike in honor of their amazing work in this community, their dedication to education, and in loving memory of Nancy Carlson who passed away September 25th after a valiant six year battle with Carcinoid cancer. 

Nancy was born in 1941 in St. Paul and lived in the Twin Cities until 1997, when she retired to Grand Marais. She got her teacher education at Winona State and taught in the St Paul Schools for 31 years as an elementary teacher. She spent her last ten years in the Chapter One program primarily as an administrator. In Grand Marais Nancy became involved in many community activities. She was involved with quilting, gardening, hiking, books, theater and music. Last month she was declared Citizen of the Year for Cook County.

Michael H. Carlson has an M.A. in Educational Psychology and Mathematics from the University of Minnesota.  He is a retired computer trainer and high school math instructor, and more recently was an adjunct instructor of St. Thomas University, MN.  He volunteers for many local community organizations including the Grand Marais Art Colony, WTIP, Cook County Higher Education, the Lion’s Club, and many others. 

There will be a memorial service for Nancy Carlson on Sunday, October 5 at 3:30 PM at the First Congregational Church in Grand Marais. Mike has requested that memorials are preferred to the Nancy and Mike Carlson Scholarship Fund at Cook County Higher Education.

The Nancy and Mike Scholarship Fund is for students seeking a degree or certificate in literacy or education, and will include programs in early childhood education, K-12 licensure, higher education, and special education. 

Nancy and Mike Scholarship memorials can be made at the North Shore Federal Credit Union; Cook County Higher Education has a Nancy and Mike Carlson Scholarship savings account so you can directly deposit your donation. If you prefer, you can mail a scholarship fund contribution to Cook County Higher Education, PO Box 57, Grand Marais, MN 55604.  Checks can be made out to CCHE (designate Nancy & Mike Carlson Scholarship on the check). You can also stop in at CCHE – we are located at 300 West 3rd Street in Grand Marais, and are open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

If you wish to make your contribution online, click the “Donate Now” button on the CCHE web page: or go directly to our donation website at:  Just copy and paste the links. The CCHE Razoo website has a lovely picture of Mike and Nancy receiving the Citizen of the Year award; the photo is courtesy of the Cook County News Herald.


Minnesota Association Country Veterans Services Officers Back to School Special: eKnowledge Offers $250 SAT and ACT Test Prep Programs for Under $20.00  Order Online Today: or Call 951-256-4076


Searching for Employment in Cook County?

Just a few examples of sites to check out for employment on the shore:


We honor Mark Abrahamson!

For the past seventeen years Mark has been our instructor for all of our nursing assistant classes, in addition to teaching licensed practical nursing and registered nursing clinicals’s. Almost all of those students have gone to work in the health care field, most of them right here in Cook County.

To honor his passion and commitment we will be dedicating the lower level nursing lab classroom to him, and installing a plaque naming the room the Mark Abrahamson Classroom. You will have a chance to hear from Mark and his students their stories, and learn about what an impact this has had on our community. This will be a great chance to see and hear the impact of your continued support of Cook County Higher Education!

If you cannot attend the Open House event, would you please consider renewing or upgrading your friendship level? We are using the friendship dollars for our students support services, which includes our mentor program, textbook scholarships, instructor services (like Mark), and some nursing classroom needs.

Thanks to board members, staff, and other generous patrons of education, we have matching funds on the table, so this is an excellent time to make your contribution count even more. Please use the enclosed donation envelope to mail your contribution, or pledge online at and use the Donate Now button.


Thank you to Senator Tom Bakk , Representative David Dill, and Scott Harrison of the Cook County EDA for a great presentation at the Business Networking Luncheon here at Cook County Higher Education on October 22nd.  It is always a pleasure to have so many vibrant community members at CCHE.  Scott Harrison opened the event with a comprehensive overview of Cook County’s economic status. Senator Bakk and Representative Dill followed with compliments to Cook County residents for their passion for local and state issues, the power of our individual voices, and our collective strength as a community when leveraging for state funding or other local issues, such as the taconite relief dollars.

During the hour and a half that they spoke Bakk and Dill also pointed out that Cook County is a destination for many of our state legislators, and as a result we need to remind them of the challenges we face in our rural location: the rough condition of long stretches of Hwy 61, and our limited tax base with 90% of our County Federally property, to name a few.  Along with a dynamic, interactive presentation, those that attended the event also ate a delicious meal catered by The Pie Place.  Cook County Higher Education hosted this event thanks to support from the Cook County Chamber of Commerce, Sivertson Gallery, the Grand Marais State Bank, and the Lake Superior Trading Post.

Reminder give to the max day is coming up on November 14th!


Our construction is almost complete! The extra classroom, study, testing, and office space has been well worth the effort!

This project was made possible thanks to a $100,000 grant from Blandin Foundation, in addition to grants from the Center for Energy and Environment, Minnesota Power Foundation, and the North Shore Health Care Foundation.  Thank you so much for your support!


Cook County Higher Education is now a
PC's For People Computer Depot

PC's for People Mission statement: "To create new opportunities by providing personal computers and education to people who have limited experience with technology due to social, physical and/or economic circumstances."

Thanks to PCs for People, we have used desktops and laptops available at reduced cost.  We ask that applicants have financial need - or otherwise fit the above description.  If you are interested in purchasing a used PC (laptop or desktop) stop by CCHE for an application.


CCHE  events made possible thanks to a generous workforce development grant from IRRRB


Licensed Practical Nurse Program Available through Itasca Community College

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a Nurse or wondered what steps you would have to take to get there?  Cook County Higher Education is here to help answer your questions.  In as little as two years you could be ready to work as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).  Itasca Community College offers practical nursing classes online with skills and clinical experience on site in Grand Rapids one long weekend per month.  Prerequisite classes begin this fall.  For more information, please contact Cook County Higher Education at 387-3411 or email


Boreal News List

The Boreal News List is now open to all community members!

What is it? The list is a place where community announcements, events, ride requests and other items of community interest are posted. Announcements posted to the news list are sent to the email addresses of all news list subscribers. We at Cook County Higher Education often use the news list as a way to get infomration out about our building being open/closed, classes we are hosting, or events.

How do I sign up? In the past, you had to be a Boreal member to send and receive these updates. You still have to be a Boreal member to send information to the news list, but now receiving the announcements is FREE and open to everyone! To sign up, simply click here and fill out the form!


Do you know about MOOCs?

A Massive Open Online Course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent development in distance education.[1]

EdX is a MOOC provider:

EdX courses are free for everyone. Some courses have a fee for ID verified certificates of achievement but are free to audit. Others offer a free honor code certificate of achievement to anyone who meets the completion requirements.


Cook County Local Energy Project, CCLEP, and Cook County Higher Education, CCHE, teamed up to improve the CCHE building
Go to Map

Upcoming Events

GED Testing
Jul 16, 2013 - Register Online at:
Proctor: Kelsey Rogers Kennedy

Down Memory Lane luncheon and presentation
Dec 18, 2014 - 11:30am-1pm Luncheon and then Open House
Gene Glader

1 Couple: War of the Roses, pt. 2 - Elizabeth II January 12 - March 16, 2015
Starts Jan 12, 2015
Dr. Karen I. Halbersleben

1 Person: War of the Roses, Elizabeth II January 12 - March 16, 2015
Starts Jan 12, 2015
Dr. Karen I. Halbersleben

Do you know how to study?  The Academic Warrior: Becoming a Purposeful Learner offers tools and tips that help all students learn how to study effectively, take notes, make better use of your time, and learn how to study for tests.  Whether you are an adult resuming your college goals or a high school student, this book will help you become a better student and enjoy the learning process.

Price: $18.95 plus tax & shipping

Website by BorealSites (Katherine Hellner and Boreal Access)